Gruffalo illustrator pitches in to help explain coronavirus to kids

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Coronavirus for children

Gruffalo illustrator helps explain coronavirus to kids

A free digital book has been released explaining coronavirus to primary school age children.

With drawings by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler, the book answers key questions in simple language aimed at five to nine year olds:

  • What is coronavirus?
  • How do you catch coronavirus?
  • What happens if you catch coronavirus?
  • Why are people worried about catching coronavirus?
  • Is there a cure for coronavirus?
  • Why are some places we normally go to closed?
  • What can I do to help?
  • What’s going to happen next?

Importantly, the book ends in an uplifting and positive way to help inspire hope in children and reassure them that things will get back to normal.

Download for free >

Video message on domestic abuse

Help available for victims of domestic abuse

Mayor John Biggs and Deputy Mayor Asma Begum have filmed a video in solidarity with victims of domestic abuse to help reassure the community that help is available.

Local and national support services are still operating during the pandemic and details of advice and support for victims are available on our website.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, being threatened or attacked and need immediate help, please call 999. If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999, and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without having to speak.

Watch the video >

Stay home

Keep it up: Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives

Please continue to stay at home and only go out when it is absolutely necessary for one of four reasons, as explained on the NHS website.

We understand this is difficult, but it is absolutely vital that we all continue to follow government guidance to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

If you're heading out for one form of daily exercise, please do so in line with the guidance on green space and on social distancing:

  • Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.
  • You should only go outside alone or with members of your own household.
  • Always keep at least two metres (six feet) apart from anyone outside your household.
  • Gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this.
  • Take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.

More local advice >

Children's drawings

Children’s creations bringing #TowerHamletsTogether

These brilliant drawings have been spotted in the Brick Lane area. They act as a colourful and uplifting reminder to the community about the need to stay at home, as well as showing appreciation for key workers and those running essential services.

We’re sure any key workers who spot the messages will be very touched. A big well done to the two young artists, Amira and Nazia!

It’s great to see so many drawings and paintings popping up in windows and balconies across Tower Hamlets, and on social media too. If you or your children have been getting creative with messages of hope and thanks, please do share them using #TowerHamletsTogether.

Food and garden waste collections are returning

Food and garden waste collections resume

Food and garden waste collections resumed today (Monday 27 April) following a temporary suspension due to coronavirus-related staff shortages.

Garden waste will only be collected in reusable garden waste sacks.

Like many organisations, we have been facing an unprecedented challenge in continuing to deliver our essential services while responding to coronavirus and supporting our most vulnerable residents.

You can help to reduce the demand on our resources by keeping food waste to a minimum and where possible, composting some of your garden waste at home. Love Food Hate Waste and Recycle Now have some useful tips.

Visit our website for more information on food waste and garden waste collections.

Read more >

Trading standards

Help crack down on scams targeting the vulnerable

As we enter the sixth week of staying at home in line with the government's advice, we are urging people to continue to look out for scams targeting older and vulnerable people who may be isolated from their family and friends.

By raising awareness of scams and sharing information with our trading standards teams, we can help protect each other and support the borough's clampdown on consumer crime.

This includes the sale of counterfeit or fake goods, doorstep crime, online scams and donation scams. For more information and guidance, visit our website.

Anyone with information can report it anonymously online or by calling Citizens Advice on 080 8223 1133, for advice and guidance.

Report crime >

Businesses against scams

Protecting businesses from COVID-19 scams

It's not just individuals who are vulnerable to scams, businesses are at risk too.

Malicious email attachments, false government grant phone calls and chief executive impersonation scams are among a raft of scams undermining businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The increasing risk has led National Trading Standards to launch a free online training tool called Businesses Against Scams.

The initiative includes online training modules to help businesses upskill and train their staff to better identify and prevent potential scams.

Sign up >

Museum of the Home

Bringing to life the stories behind families staying at home

The Museum of the Home (formerly known as Hoxton's Geffrye Museum of the Home) has launched a new community project called Stay Home.

Stay Home is a project which invites people to document their home life during the pandemic. The project hopes to capture a broad, unfiltered picture of what life at home looks like under current conditions of self-isolation and social distancing.

If you're interested, you can participate by answering seven questions and sharing five photographs on the museum’s Stay Home webpage.

All public contributions will become part of the museum’s permanent collection for future reflection, exhibition, and publication. 

Find out more >


Join our virtual Licensing Sub-Committee meeting

Our Licensing Sub-Committee will take place tomorrow and is the first of our Town Hall meetings to take place entirely virtually.

The meeting will begin at 2.30pm on Tuesday 28 April, and members of the public can follow along on our normal webcast platform.

Watch the webcast > 

Coronavirus: useful links

Thank you for reading

We hope you have found this bulletin useful. Share this with your family and friends to ensure they have the latest advice on coronavirus. Anyone can subscribe using this link

Updates in other languages

If you know someone who would like to receive updates in Bengali, they can subscribe to 'Bengali newsletter' for news and advice in Bengali. 

The government is also publishing advice in a range of languages on its website.